Wheat Slide Led By Weak Export Sales
By Kirk Maltais
--Wheat for March delivery fell 1.4% to $6.75 3/4 a bushel on
the Chicago Board of Trade Thursday, in reaction to low export
sales, precipitation in South America, and overall choppiness in
--Soybeans for March delivery fell 1.3% to $14.07 1/2 a
--Corn for March delivery rose 1.3% to $5.49 3/4 a bushel.
Missed Mark: Grain futures slipped Thursday, after the USDA
reported grain export sales that were lower than trader forecasts
-- with soybean sales of only 238,700 metric tons across both the
2020/21 and 2021/22 marketing years. Corn sales totaled 599,200
tons and wheat sales tallied 182,500 tons. China was absent from
large buying for the week ending Feb 18, due to the Lunar New Year
Easy Money Over?: Weak export sales and some much-needed rain in
Argentina pressured grain futures added jitters to trading today.
"The heightened volatility in a host of commodity/financial markets
is causing investor pause," said AgResource. "Advisors argue that
the easy money has been made in commodity and equity markets. The
extra volatility adds to market risk and traders should be reducing
Rationing Realized: The low export sales reported by the USDA
prompted thoughts among traders that demand rationing was finally
starting to take hold. "Disappointing sales across the board with
the market potentially signaling it is starting to do the necessary
job of slowing down demand," said Doug Bergman of RCM Alternatives.
This sentiment sank grain futures Thursday, and may pressure grains
Where's China?: Some grain traders are beginning to wonder
whether China will go back to buying large quantities of U.S. corn
now that the Lunar New Year is over. "It's no secret that we've
been skeptical of China's corn demand," said Arlan Suderman of
StoneX. "Logic says they would import corn to fill that deficit.
However, leaders in the Chinese Communist Party have instead filled
it with wheat reserves, and imports of grain sorghum and
Rollin' On The River: Barges operating in the U.S. are slowly
returning to their normal workload after last week's bitterly cold
temperatures in the Midwest, according to the USDA. "Ice storms and
other severe weather temporarily halted barge operations on the
Mississippi River around St. Louis, as well as on the Ohio River,
Illinois River, and Lower Mississippi River areas," the government
said in its weekly Grains Transportation Report. "As of February
25, most grain barges have resumed operations, except for those on
the Illinois River. Minor delays persist, but no major disruptions
are expected." For the week ending Feb. 20, barge shipments slipped
by 28% from the previous week, the USDA said.
--The USDA will release its monthly agricultural prices report
at 3 p.m. ET Friday.
--The CFTC will release its weekly commitment of traders report
at 3:30 p.m. ET Friday.
--The USDA will release its weekly export inspections report at
11 a.m. ET Monday.
--The USDA will release its monthly grains crushing report at 3
p.m. ET Monday.
Write to Kirk Maltais at email@example.com
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
February 25, 2021 15:49 ET (20:49 GMT)
Copyright (c) 2021 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.